Sunday, March 9, 2008

17-month-old Reads at 7-year-old level! Parents credit Signing Time

This cute little 17- month-old is an amazing reader! She will appear on the Today Show Monday, March 9. Here is a link to a story that includes video.

You might be a little skeptical, but check it out.

And interestingly, my 21-month-old daughter also read her first word today! It was "off." I've been fingerspelling this word with her a lot recently because she was getting the meaning of "on" and "off" confused. Now, I say this is the first word she read, but actually, it was just the first word I could prove that she read. There were no pictures for cues, no one signing the word, and it wasn't shown in an order she could have memorized. I've known she could read her name for months, and I've suspected she could read other words, like "dog," "duck," "more," "milk," "boo" and "door." She's always asking me to fingerspell words to her. And we write words with her bathtub letters and her magnet letters.

I've been consciously teaching her to read since she was around one (since I found out that Leah Coleman was reading by 2). I had the ABCs posted around the house. We play games with letters in the tub, and I fingerspell words I can't sign whenever I think about it. She points out letters she knows in words. We also sing and sign songs that spell words. I sing 5-letter-words to the tune of "B-I-N-G-O," 4-letter-words to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?" and 3-letter- words to the tune of "Three Blind Mice." She loves it and asks me to spell specific words for her.

She clearly understands that letters make up words, and written words stand for ideas or objects just like sign language or spoken words.

Signing Time videos are definitely playing a big part in helping us communicate with our daughter, increasing her verbal skills, and now, her reading and fingerspelling skills. (I forgot to add, she fingerspelled "off" today, too.)